Monday, January 10, 2011


One of the best things living in Minneapolis so far is that I got to meet and greet some of my favourite people. When I say my favourite people (in this context), they are not my family, but friends through blogging. Earlier last year, I met Zoe & Jeff of ABin5 fame. I went for their bread baking class on Healthy Bread In 5 Minutes a Day and it was fun!!A few weeks ago, I met Alice Medrich.She was on a tour for her new book Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-your-mouth Cookies and Minneapolis was her first stop.When I got to know about it, I booked my seat right away because I couldn't wait to hear that they are sold out.This happened in July. The class was in November :-D I just couldn't risk not being there when she was in town!!

 So, that Nov.15 evening, Jobin said he would get back home as soon as possible from work,so that he could drop me at the cooking school. Everything went smooth. I checked my bag for my camera and pen. Everything was in place. All we need to do was to leave. And we left for the school.It is just a 15 minute drive and it's a road that we are very used to. We even got onto the HOV (special lane for cars with 2 or more people in it) to avoid the after-office- hour traffic. Everything went smooth till we took the wrong exit! My hands went cold. I just didn't want to be late, atleast that day. I kept calm because I could see the worry on his face. Poor thing, he knew how much I had longed to be a part of Alice's class and I had been waiting for months now! I said, 'It's Ok,as long as we get there before the class gets over'.

Finally we reached there, maybe 10 mins late.He left me on the sidewalk and I ran. Yes,I ran on the slippery pavement (it snowed the night before). I felt I was running,but later he said, 'I thought you'd run to the class, but you just walked!'. So, maybe I was running inside :-)
Here's some cookies that she made for us ME! :)

Meeting Alice was definately a blessing, because I am a true fan of hers. I simply love all her books and the way she takes us through each of the steps.She is such a lovely lady to meet and greet.I shouldn't forget to mention...her recipes are fool proof! Here are some of her pictures, in action!

If you have this book and you are searching for this particular recipe, you maynot find it because I combined 2 recipes together to give some crunch to the otherwise plain brownie (which is by the way ,absolutely delicious!).

Recipe: Chery Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-your-mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich

Macaroon Topping:
Page no:176
1 large egg white
Scant 1 1/4 cups dessicated coconut (The original called for unsweetened dried flaked, since I didn't have any, I went ahead with this)
1/4 c sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
Large pinch of salt

Cocoa Brownies:
11 tbsp unsalted butter
1 1/4 c sugar
1 scant cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 c plus 1 tbsp all purpose flour,preferably unbleached.

For the topping:
Combine all the ingredients together in a stainless steel bowl and double boil it by setting it over a large pan filled with barley simmering water.
Stir the mixture, scraping the bottom to prevent burning until the mixture is very hot to touch and the egg whites have thickened slightly and turned from translucent to opaque,3-5 minutes. (For me, none of these worked!So I went ahead stirring it for almost 10 minutes.)
Set the batter aside for 30 mins to let the coconut absorb the moisture while you make the brownie batter.

For the brownie:
Pre-heat the oven to 325F.Position the rack in the lower third of the oven.
Line your tin with aluminium foil.

Melt butter in a bowl set directly in a pan of simmering water. Add the sugar, cocoa and salt.Stir until the ingredients are blended and the mixture is hot.
Remove the bowl and let the mixture cool till it is warm to touch.Mix in the vanilla.
Add the eggs, one at a atime, mixing vigorously with a spatula after each addition.
When the mixture looks thick,shiny and well blended, add all of the flour at once and stir until you cannot see it any longer.
Then mix vigorously for 40 strokes with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula .
Spread evenly in a pan.
Top with the coconut topping and bake for 20-25 mins (mine took 32 mins) or till a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dirty looking.
Let it cool.Peel away the foil and cut them into squares. Enjoy!

Jobin is a big fan of macaroons. So he had a double treat! Trust me, you will never miss the chocolate here. It is so fudgy and nice that it is hard to believe that we can get the same texture as that of chocolate browines with the cocoa powder.

So now don't give me an excuse saying,'I didn't have chocolate, so I couldn't make brownies!' :-) Go ahead and try them just as is or with the topping.You are going to love it!


Pavithra Elangovan said...

Wow I too love her book Ria.. the brownies looks yumm :)

Unknown said...

It should have been a memorable moment to cherish in your life! Brownies look heavenly. Lovely clicks Ria..

JishasKitchen said...

wow..the brownies looks so yummy...

Rose from Magpies Recipes said...

What a wonderful topping!
I've made Alice's cocoa brownies too.


Next time will def try the macaroon topping!

They definitely are fudgey and chocolatey. I call them miraculous brownies because they are so quick to make and such simple ingreds! Alice truly is a genius. So lucky you are to have met her!

Anonymous said...

You're so lucky to have met Alice. The crunchy topping on the brownies is a great idea.


Unknown said...

they look amazing Ria...love the topping too...just ship them over na!...

amna said...

that's a lovely idea! bookmarked!

notyet100 said...

wow this looks so good,..

Nithya said...

Brownies look super delicious :)

Divya Kudua said...

Looks gorgeous Ria.Lucky you,you got to spend some time with her,so did you learn anything new??I am going to try this out!!

RMM said...

Thats a lovely write up and nice combo..would love to have a bite..:)) Reny.

Priya Suresh said...

Damn tempting, lovely that delicious topping..

Priya Sreeram said...

super wow and the topping totally rocks !

Nitha said...

wow.. bookmarked... delicious....

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Wonderfully creative brownies and ur classes rock babe!
Wasnt that sooo muc fun !
So wonderful that the few mins late dont seem to matter!
U have some great memories captured beautifully!

BDw , was it on ur blog that me ha seen a mexican Molcajete?
ok wait will write u a mail on that:-)

sanjeeta kk said...

Love the topping for those cute brownies. You are a very delicious photographer, Ria :)

Lite Bite

Unknown said...

Finally you posted about meeting her!! These brownies look so good, I would never have thought of combining the two. Will make this as soon as I recover enough to eat!!

Meera Ratnan said...

I finally baked these brownies Ria. And just one word - EXCELLENT. They were too good n we all really loved them. Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes.

Meera Ratnan said...

I baked these Brownies Ria and I have just one word to describe them - EXCELLENT. We all loved the Brownies, they were so delicious. THANKS FOR sharing SUCH A GREAT RECIPE.

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